Average Salary (US)


Projected 5-Year Job Growth


Source: JobsEQ®, a labor market data provider developed by economists and data scientists. Data as of 2020Q1 except wages which are as of 2019

Table of Contents

What does a Welder do?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), the U.S. Department of Labor’s principal fact- finding agency for the federal government in the field of labor, economics, and statistics that provides data on employment and wages, Welders use hand-held or remotely controlled equipment to join or cut metal parts. They also fill holes, indentations, or seams in metal products. Welders work in a wide variety of industries, from car racing to manufacturing. The work that welders do and the equipment they use vary with the industry. Arc welding, the most common type of welding today, uses electrical currents to create heat and bond metals together—but there are more than 100 different processes that a welder can use. The type of weld is usually determined by the types of metals being joined and the conditions under which the welding is to take place.


Welders typically do the following:

  • Study blueprints, sketches, or specifications
  • Calculate the dimensions of parts to be welded
  • Inspect structures or materials to be welded
  • Ignite torches or start power supplies
  • Monitor the welding process to avoid overheating
  • Maintain equipment and machinery

Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts. In this process, heat is applied to metal pieces, melting and fusing them to form a permanent bond. Because of its strength, welding is used in shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing and repair, aerospace applications, and thousands of other manufacturing activities. Welding also is used to join steel beams in the construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures and to join pipes in pipelines, power plants, and refineries.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/welders-cutters-solderers-and-brazers.htm

How much does a Welder get paid?*

According to JobsEQ, a labor market data provider developed by economists and data scientists, Welders made an annual average salary of $45,200 in 2019.

The top 25% of earners made an annual average salary of $52,400 and the bottom 25% of Welders earned $34,900 in 2019. Those who started out as an entry-level Welder in 2019 made $31,200 on average.

These numbers may vary based on geography and labor market.

Entry Level Mean Bottom 25% Top 25%

*Source: JobsEQ®. Wage data are as of 2019 and represent the average for all Covered Employment

Best-paying states for Welders**

According to BLS, Alaska, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii bring the biggest paydays for welders. On average, a welder in Alaska will earn $67,610 — far above the national mean — with figures topping out around $94,280. Washington, D.C., and Hawaii command strong salaries, coming in at $62,260 and $60,050 per year on average, respectively. Wyoming, Delaware, and Washington state make up the next-three highest salaries, on average, for welders.

**Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”). Data as of May 2019

Interested in becoming a Welder?

Visit Meritize Connect to Find Training Programs in Your Area

Welder job outlook***

According to JobsEQ, welding job opportunities will continue to rise over the next 5 years. Experts predict a 3.7% growth over this time period that will increase the amount of jobs from 428,997 to 444,862.

***Source: JobsEQ, Data as of 2020Q1, The shaded areas of the graph represent national recessions.

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver job skills and knowledge

According to O*NET Resource Center, people in this career often have these skills:

  • Near Vision – Seeing details up close.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness – Keeping your arm or hand steady.

Source: O*NET Resource Center

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